Famagusta Mayor presses on with return of the town at EU Commission
Nicosia, Sep 11 – Famagusta Mayor Mr. Alexis Galanos has stressed the need to have the town, presently occupied by the Turkish military forces, returned to its lawful inhabitants, saying that more than 26,000 people have signed a petition to this effect.
Mr. Galanos presented the petition to EU Commissioner for Enlargement Mr. Oli Rhen and other EU officials he met in Brussels on Tuesday with a view to promote the return of Famagusta as a priority issue in the effort to settle the question of Cyprus and reunite the country, divided since Turkish troops invaded in 1974.
Speaking after his meetings, Mr. Galanos said he had a “useful and constructive meeting with the Commissioner during which we explained our thinking regarding Famagusta being a priority issue.”
“We explained that the return of Famagusta will create an immense momentum and will give a message of coexistence and economic cooperation between Greek and Turkish Cypriots,” Mr. Galanos stated, pointing out that such a move can only benefit the people of Cyprus.
The Mayor described Famagusta as a European city and said that as such it becomes a responsibility for Europe, in particular when the country that occupies territory of an EU member state seeks to join the Union.
The delegation of the Famagusta Municipality also met with the Vice President of the Liberal Group at the European Parliament with whom they discussed the issue of their occupied town as well as the illegal exploitation of Greek Cypriot property in occupied Cyprus.